Will my Podiatrist tell me to stop wearing high heels?
As a podiatrist, my primary concern is to promote foot health and prevent foot problems. For this reason, I often advise my patients to wear appropriate shoes that provide proper support and cushioning. However, I also understand that fashion and personal preferences can sometimes take precedence over foot health. While high heels are often considered to be one of the most inappropriate types of shoes for the feet, there are times when it may be okay to wear them.
First, it's important to understand that wearing high heels for extended periods can put a lot of stress on the feet, ankles, and knees. High heels shift the body's weight forward, which places increased pressure on the balls of the feet and toes. This can lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis, forefoot stress, and hammertoes. Additionally, high heels can cause ankle sprains, and even contribute to knee pain and osteoarthritis. For these reasons, it's generally advisable to avoid wearing high heels on a daily basis.
However, there are certain situations where it may be okay to wear high heels. For example, if you're attending a special event and want to wear high heels to complete your outfit, you can take steps to minimize the damage to your feet. Consider wearing high heels with a lower heel height, and look for shoes with a cushioned insole to help absorb shock. You may also want to bring a pair of comfortable shoes to change into if your feet start to hurt.
Another situation where it may be acceptable to wear high heels is during a job interview or other professional situations where you want to make a good impression. However, if you're going to be standing or walking for an extended period, choose shoes with a lower heel and a wide toe box to reduce pressure on the ball of the foot.
It's also important to recognize that not all high heels are created equal. Some high heels are designed with more support and cushioning than others. Look for shoes with a wider heel base and a thicker sole to provide more stability and cushioning. Additionally, try to avoid shoes with a pointed toe, as these can put additional pressure on the toes. We recommend checking out stores like Bared which offer high heels options that are more foot-friendly.
If you're going to wear high heels, it's important to take steps to care for your feet. Make sure to stretch your feet and calf muscles before and after wearing high heels to prevent cramping and stiffness. Additionally, consider applying foot cream or lotion to help moisturise and soothe your feet.
While high heels are not the most foot-friendly shoes, there are situations where it may be acceptable to wear them. However, it's important to take steps to minimize the damage to your feet, such as choosing shoes with a lower heel height and more support and caring for your feet before and after wearing high heels. As a podiatrist, my ultimate goal is to help you maintain healthy and happy feet, and sometimes that means giving you permission to wear inappropriate shoes – as long as you take the necessary precautions.